Jacob Larson saw he’d missed a bunch of calls, but he finally had a chance to pick up this one. As he listened to the lady on the other end of the phone, he struggled to process what he was hearing. She said she was a reporter from a Palm Beach news station. She asked if Larson had any comment on the video that had just posted online. She said there was a press conference in two hours, and asked if he’d like to comment. He wondered what on earth she could be talking about.
She said she’d email him a link to the video. The 40 seconds it took for it to come through seemed like 40 hours. When he saw the video, the pit in his stomach grew to a bowling ball.
Someone had shot an undercover video on his dairy.
“I’ll always remember that day, Nov. 9, 2017,” Larson recalls. “We really didn’t have any warning. By the time she emailed it to me it was already online. Boy, it was rough. The initial reaction when I first saw it, I was just gut shot. I literally didn’t eat anything for 24 hours. I just wanted to throw up.”
Larson’s phone was blowing up with calls, and he couldn’t keep track of them all. There were so many that he couldn’t even get a call in to his office. When he finally made it through, they knew all about the video—they were swamped with calls as well. It got so bad Larson had to unplug the office phones. Some of the calls were press, most were harassment.
“We understood people just wanted to vent,” Larson says. He tried to answer as many calls as possible. “Your initial instinct is to defend, because you feel like you’re under attack, and I was. I was under attack personally, my industry was under attack. So I wanted to defend.”
Problem was, some of the things that were shown in the video were undefendable.
To read the rest of the story, and hear how Jacob and the industry responded to this attack, click here.